Friday February 16 2018, Daily News Digest

Amazon small business lending

News Comments Today’s main news: Amazon partners with Bank of America on lending. Roostify raises $25M for expansion. Lendy’s pretax profits hit 3.3M GBP. Lendix to enter Dutch, German markets. Revolut to launch banking app in APAC. Vested backs Dojo. Today’s main analysis: Important barriers to alternative investing digitization. Today’s thought-provoking articles: Americans can’t get enough consumer debt. Who are Britain’s […]

Amazon small business lending

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United Kingdom

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United States

Amazon has partnered with Bank of America for its lending program (CNBC), Rated: AAA

CNBC has learned that Amazon Lending, which launched in 2011, ultimately found a partner in Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the alliance is confidential. Partnering with Bank of America allows Amazon to reduce its risk and access capital specifically to provide credit to more merchants so they can acquire inventory.

Amazon Lending is an invitation-only program that makes loans of $1,000 to $750,000, with terms of up to a year, for companies that may have difficulty landing traditional business loans. In June 2017, Amazon said it issued more than $1 billion in loans during the previous 12-month period, compared to $1.5 billion in combined loans for the four years prior to that.

Scaling back

But even with the Bank of America deal, Amazon Lending has been tapping the brakes on growth of late. After almost doubling to $661 million in 2016, outstanding loans just barely increased last year to $692 million, according to Amazon’s annual report earlier this month.

Source: CNBC

These 10 MBA Programs Will Earn You the Highest Salary, According to SoFi (Levo), Rated: A

According to SoFi, the student loan refinancing company, “No BS” Return on Education 2018 MBA rankings, these are the best schools for earning back your money.

With Americans owing more than $1.48 trillion in student loan debt,  (which is $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt) knowing which schools are going to help you pay off your debt faster, is something you should consider if you are looking at business school programs.

Source: Levo

Roostify Closes $ 25 Million Series B To Fund Expansion (VentureBeat), Rated: AAA

Roostify, a digital lending platform provider, today announced the completion of a $25 million Series B round of financing. The round included new investments from Cota Capital, Point72 Ventures, and Santander Innoventures, the venture capital arm of Banco Santander, as well as additional funding from previous investors JPMorgan Chase, Colchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAA. The new funds will power the company’s ambitious growth goals, including a deeper presence in the enterprise space, rich product enhancements, and expansion into new markets.

Abode Aims to Make Home Buying and Selling Easier (Chicago Inno), Rated: A

In 2016, Kyle Stoner and best friend Carson Junginger were both having a hard time navigating the home-buying process. Between finding a realtor, finding a property and securing a mortgage, the two tech entrepreneurs realized that buying a home was too cumbersome and fragmented. And when they couldn’t find a single platform where they could manage all these separate tasks, they teamed up to create one — Abode.

SoFi named Abode in its 2018 class of SoFi Entrepreneurs, the fourth cohort of startups which will receive mentorship and funding from the alternative lending startup, but Stoner declined to comment on whether SoFi is officially partnering with Abode in the future. Stoner said Abode is rolling out a new consumer product in March 2018, but declined to give further details.

Americans Can’t Get Enough Consumer Debt (WSJ), Rated: AAA

If anything, consumers are borrowing more on credit cards or through auto loans than they have in years, and lenders seeking growth are happy to oblige them.

In the fourth quarter, consumer debt, excluding mortgages and other home loans, rose 5.5% from a year earlier to $3.82 trillion. That is the highest amount since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began tracking the data in 1999. Moreover, consumers’ non-housing debts accounted for just over 29% of their overall debt load, also the highest amount on record.

Overall, households are paying about 5.8% of their disposable personal income to stay current on their nonmortgage debts, according to third-quarter Federal Reserve data. This figure, which is at the highest level since the end of 2008, bottomed out at 4.9% in 2012.


URGENT VS. IMPORTANT: BARRIERS TO DIGITIZATION IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTING (All About Alpha), Rated: AAA

KPMG International and CREATE-Research have jointly prepared a report about the digitization imperative for alternative investment management.

Early on, its authors list eight key digital innovations that are reconstructing the industry:

Application programming interfaces; cognitive technology and machine learning; Big Data; blockchain; new digital platforms; robo-advisors; robotic process automation; and social media.

To that end they have talked to 125 alternative managers located in 19 countries, with combined assets under management of $2.6 trillion.

A Need to Future Proof

They found that the scale of the ongoing shake-up is well understood. Only 2% of respondents saw a “business as usual” scenario playing out over the next 10 years. Roughly one-third (35%) expect marginal changes. But 53% anticipate “partial” disruption and the remaining 10% anticipate “total” disruption.

Can small-dollar loans be both profitable and safe? (American Banker), Rated: A

Is now the time when U.S. banks, credit unions and their regulators finally see eye to eye on small-dollar loans to consumers who have checkered credit histories?

A long-running stalemate between the industry and its overseers has ceded much of the subprime consumer market to payday lenders, pawn shops and other high-cost lenders. But in recent months, banks started to get some insight from Washington about what type of product would be deemed acceptable.

Citi, PNC invest in B-to-B payments fintech (American Banker), Rated: A

In the latest example, Citi Ventures and PNC on Wednesday announced a strategic investment in the fintech firm HighRadius, which makes business-to-business payments and receivables software. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. HighRadius has an existing partnership with Bank of America on an accounts receivables platform, and also counts as clients Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

U.S. Bancorp hit with $ 613M in penalties linked to payday lender Scott Tucker (USA Today), Rated: A

U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank, agreed to the criminal and civil penalties in settlements announced by the Manhattan U.S. Attorneys Office in New York, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

From 2009 until 2014, U.S.Bank set an artificial cap on the number of alerts generated by its customer transaction monitoring systems, authorities said. The Minneapolis-based bank based the number of alerts on low staffing levels, rather than on the level of risk in the transactions.

The lax oversight aided Tucker, a longtime U.S. Bank customer who was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison last month for running an illegal $3.5 billion Internet-based payday lending scheme that victimized thousands of consumers with loan interest rates as high as 1,000%.

 

Fluid Market Launches Truck Sharing Marketplace (Business Insider), Rated: A

Fluid Market, a neighborhood truck sharing application that allows people to rent trucks seamlessly from one another, today announced the nationwide launch of its truck-sharing marketplace, providing a seamless and on-demand utility vehicle rental experience to its peer-to-peer network of users and lenders across the country.

Finalists for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards 2018 Announced (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

Fintech Innovator of the Year

  • Affirm
  • Varo Money
  • Better Mortgage
  • Upstart
  • Plaid
  • Circle
  • loanDepot

Top Consumer Lending Platform

  • LendingClub
  • Zopa
  • Marlette Funding
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • LightStream
  • Yirendai

Top Small Business Lending Platform

  • Kabbage
  • Funding Circle
  • BlueVine
  • Mirador
  • Credibly
  • StreetShares

Top Real Estate Lending Platform

  • Sharestates
  • LendInvest
  • LendingHome
  • PeerStreet
  • LendingOne
  • Fundrise

Emerging Lending Platform

  • Upgrade Inc.
  • Better Mortgage
  • ETHLend
  • Neat Capital
  • Nexoos
  • LendingUSA

Excellence in Financial Inclusion

  • Kreditech
  • LendUp
  • LenddoEFL
  • Oportun
  • China Rapid Finance
  • Elevate Credit

Most Promising Partnership

  • Katipult + Polymath Inc
  • Macquarie + PeerIQ
  • Lending Club + Opportunity Fund
  • Intrinio + QUODD
  • Financeit + Goldman Sachs
  • Minna Technologies + Swedbank

Most Successful Cross-Border Partnership

  • Kabbage + ING
  • Kreditech + PayU
  • PayJoy + Macrocel
  • nCino + OakNorth
  • Kasisto + DBS Bank
  • Phoenix Finance + Saxo Bank

Most Innovative Bank

  • BankMobile
  • Cross River Bank
  • Laurel Road
  • CBW Bank
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC

International Innovator of the Year

  • UP Financial
  • LexinFintech
  • Afluenta
  • Phoenix Finance
  • IrisGuard
  • Borrowell

Top Enterprise Technology Company

  • Salesforce
  • Roostify
  • Blend
  • ThreatMetrix
  • Mambu
  • CUneXus

Top Emerging Technology Company

  • Nav
  • Ingo Money
  • Nova Credit Inc.
  • MoneyLion
  • dv01
  • Emailage

Most Innovative Mobile Technology

  • PayJoy
  • Clarity Money
  • AutoGravity
  • Dave.com
  • Blinker
  • Juvo

Top Investment Bank in Fintech

  • Macquarie
  • Marlin & Associates
  • FT Partners

See the full list here.

Macquarie looks to broaden US ABS footprint (Global Capital), Rate: B

Macquarie Group is seeking to hire a US ABS director for its credit markets team as it looks to grow its presence in US esoteric ABS sectors, including whole business, marketplace lending and renewable energy finance.

Small nonbanks call for clearer exemption from CFPB audits (American Banker), Rated: A

Nonbank mortgage firms are seeking formal assurance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that they will not become subject to surprise audits or enforcement without involvement of a state regulator.

In a joint letter to acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Community Mortgage Lenders of America said the agency should practice “streamlined supervision” of smaller nonbanks, which is consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act.

 

Business Innovation Could Accelerate Under a Friendlier CFPB, LeClairRyan Attorney Says (Business Insider), Rated: B

Recent moves by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could signal a friendlier approach to businesses, according to Jay Spruill, a partner in LeClairRyan’s Richmond office and leader of the national law firm’s Marketplace Funding Team.

“The Payday Loan Rule has been heavily criticized by the small loan industry which says the rule will restrict consumers’ access to credit,” Spruill notes in the blog, CFPB Signals Retreat from Aggressive Regulation. The post appears in Marketplace Shift, which focuses on the impact of legal and regulatory developments on financial innovation.

United Kingdom

P2P Lender Lendy Releases Financial Results: Pretax Profits Rise to £3.3 Million (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Peer to peer lending platform Lendy has released its audited accounts for 2016, showing profits before tax rising to £3.3 million compared to £53,000 in 2015. The company reports that since launch in 2012, Lendy has originated over £376 million in secured loans generating £36 million in interest for investors. Approximately £141.5 million in principle has been repayed with current outstanding loans at £186.5 million.

 

The digital upstarts taking on Britain’s dominant few banks (The Economist), Rated: AAA

For some British millennials, Monzo is as close to a cult as a bank can be. Its coral-pink cards are hard to miss. “People in bars will get very excited if they see you are a fellow Monzo user,” says Mr Matthews, who is 29.

Counting the British arm of Santander, Spain’s largest bank takes the share to over 80%. In 2015 Britons had 70m-odd active current accounts. They paid £500 ($750) or more into 70% of them every month.

Supervisors have licensed more than 30 entrants since 2013. But by no means are all the challengers young. One of them, CYBG, owns Clydesdale, a Scottish bank that turns 180 this year, and Yorkshire Bank, aged 159. It has about 1.8m personal current-account customers and assets of £43bn. Nor are all the infants purely digital. Metro Bank has since 2010 established 55 “stores” (ie, branches) and is spreading beyond south-east England.

Among digital purists, Monzo’s chief rival is Starling Bank—where Mr Blomfield used to work. It started current accounts last spring; around 100,000 have been opened. Tandem, which recently acquired Harrods Bank, the banking arm of a posh department store, is also open for business. Atom Bank, part-owned by Spain’s BBVA, focuses on mortgages funded by fixed-rate savings. N26, a German smartphone bank, is due to arrive this year. Another near-cult, Revolut, is seeking a European licence (valid, for now, in Britain).

To ginger up small-business banking, RBS, the market leader, must cede ground and money to competitors as part of the price, agreed on with the European Commission, of its rescue by the government in 2008. RBS will put up £425m, divided into sums from £5m to £120m, to build up rivals’ capabilities, plus £350m for incentives to customers to switch banks. Banks with assets of up to £350bn may bid. That excludes the big four but just lets in Santander (£315bn), to some challengers’ chagrin.

 

Industry reacts to SME finance inquiry (Bridging&Commercial), Rated: A

Earlier this month, the Treasury committee launched an inquiry into SME finance to look at the state of the market and the lessons to be learned from RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

The Treasury’s inquiry will look at the extent of competition in the market, the various sources of funding available to SMEs – including P2P lending and crowdfunding – and whether the current regulatory framework provides enough protection to SMEs when they borrow money.

For example, unsecured lending to an SME borrower for the purposes of their business will only be regulated if the SME is unincorporated and the amount being borrowed is £25,000 or less.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority doubles down on algorithmic trading (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Monday published its report on the supervision of algorithmic trading, which is intended to illustrate best practices and give guidance to firms considering implementing AI to automate trading operations.

The focus areas of the report hint at concerns the FCA harbors about AI use in capital markets. The regulator placed particular emphasis on humans being able to intervene in an algorithm if something goes wrong, and ensuring the technology doesn’t start behaving in a way unintended by its creators.

Innovate Finance Announces Finalists for 2018 FinTech Pitch360 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: B

The 2018 Pitch360 finalists are the following:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Axyon AI SRL, Coriolis Technologies Ltd, Eye Capital S.A.
  • Banking/ Enterprise Solutions: Akoni, Hedgewiz Pure Risk Management Solutions, Salt Edge Inc
  • Distributed Ledger Technology: hiveonline, SPIRAL
  • Financial Inclusion: CommuScore, CreditSpring, Trezeo
  • Payments & FX: Duality Banx, Divido Financial Services, Envision&Company LTD
  • Peer-to-Peer / Alternative Funding / SME Lending: Alterest, Credit Data Research Ltd, StrideUp
  • Personal Finance Management & Robo Advice: CASHOFF Ltd, Bedaan
  • RegTech: Calcabis, Exate Technology
China

 

Hexindai: Positive Quarter Strengthens Bull Case (Seeking Alpha), Rated: AAA

Sales increased 575% to $43.31 million, driven by loan facilitation growth, which was $388 million – an increase of 187.1% over the prior year. The high sales growth rate contributed to a whopping 1,589% net income growth, which was $26.9 million for the quarter. Gross billing ratio contributed to overall growth with an increase from 7.4% in the previous year to 12.1% in the reported one as the company continues its shift to credit loans.

The company increased its guidance, bumping EPS estimates for the year from $0.74 (see linked article for full estimate calculations) to $1.30 per share, as sales are now expected at $108 million – up from previously expected $90 million. The company believes this will be driven by a bump in loan facilitation, which it expects to be $1.23 billion, up from previously expected $1 billion.

In my previous article I initiated the company with a price target range of $14.80 to $22.20 per share given a 20x to 30x forward earnings multiple, and given recent positive catalysts I believe fair value lies in the same multiple. As the company has hiked its sales and net income guidance, pushing EPS to $1.30 for fiscal 2018, I believe the company’s fair value now lies in the range of $26.00 to $39.00 per share. That represents almost 200% upside from the current share price.

Money20/20 launches in China, the world’s biggest FinTech market (CUInsight), Rated: A

Ascential announced in Hangzhou recently the launch of its trailblazing FinTech event Money20/20 at Hangzhou International Expo Center on 14-16 November 2018.

Guest speakers includedArthur Zhu, President of LianLian Pay; Raymond Qu, CEO of Geoswift; Jeff Parker, Managing Director of WorldFirst Asia-Pacific; Eric Gu, founder & CEO of Metaverse; and experts such as Dr. Ben Shenglin, Dean of Zhejiang University’s Academy of Internet Finance.

Chinese ADSs on the Rise (Capital Watch), Rated: B

Coming in second and third place, China Rapid Finance Ltd. (NYSE: XRF) and JP Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: JP) both soared 8 percent to close at $5.17 and $19.85 per share, respectively, while Jianpu Technology Inc. (NYSE:JT) rose nearly 6 percent to $7.28 per share.

European Union

Online Lender Lendix Plans Entrance into German and Dutch Markets (ICO News Desk), Rated: AAA

Continuing its plan to lead the European SME lending market, fintech company Lendixcontinues its geographical expansion with plans to branch into Germany and the Netherlands.

bitJob teams up with the Dutch government blockchain program to enrich students résumés with a crypto flair (Chipin), Rated: A

bitJob, the P2P marketplace that connects students and businesses, is announcing today its partnership with the Blockchain projects division inside the Dutch government, to deploy its pilot project in Holland. The marketplace, developed by bitJob, bridges the gap between businesses and students by enabling both sides to offer/look for employment with a technology that promotes honesty, immediacy, and robustness.

Opiria & PDATA token: peer reviewed token sale from Germany (Opiria email), Rated: B

Opiria allows consumers to sell their personal data and companies to buy personal data directly from consumers without a veiled middleman in a fully transparent and secure way.

We are presently running an ICO. About our ICO:

  • peer reviewed with due diligence report – showing PDATA is a top 5% ICO

  • Already >1 million USD raised in the Pre-ICO (hard cap $5 million in Pre-ICO)

  • 4k+ active users providing personal data and opinions

Management Team:

  • Dr. Christian Lange (CEO): proven track record in entrepreneurship and successful exit in 2015

  • Marlene Gagesch (CTO): head of B2B software departments for > 10 years

For more information:

  • 2 min pitch video: 

    1 page business model canvas: 

    ICO website/whitepaper: 

    International

    Can’t Miss Quick-Start Guide to Launching a New Business Venture (Influencive), Rated: A

    The following quick-start guide will explain the 7 steps that you need to follow to launch your business venture.

    Make Sure There Is a Market for Your Idea

    The very first step you should take is to validate your idea or concept. You need to make sure that there is a market for your idea.

    Create a Basic Business and Marketing Plan

    If you are trying to launch your product or service as soon as possible, you will still need a solid business and marketing plan. You do not need to be completely detailed, but you should have a good plan in place.

    Obtain Funding for Your Idea

    Another way to get financing is to use P2P (peer to peer) lending. This is similar to crowdfunding, which is another option. With both P2P lending and crowdfunding, you will need to properly explain the value of your product or service. Also, it may take a while to obtain all the funding that you require.

    Research Your Target Demographic

    Once you get funding, you will need to start researching your target demographic. You need to know who you are marketing to before you start a marketing campaign.

    Create a Website

    You do not need to spend a lot to build a website. There are several affordable options with easy to use website builders. These website builders include drag and drop layouts, so anyone can build their own website. A few options include WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace.

    Decide on a Business Structure

    The next step is to choose a business structure. This is essential and should be decided before you release your product or service.

    Start Marketing Your Product or Service

    The final step is to begin marketing your product or service.

    India

    In consultation with MCA, Sebi makes headway in framing crowd-funding norms (Business Standard), Rated: AAA

    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is finalising the regulatory framework for crowd-funding in consultation with the corporate affairs ministry.

    APAC

    Revolut uses GPS for FX app launch in APAC (Fintech Futures), Rated: AAA

    Revolut will be using Global Processing Services (GPS) for the launch of its multi-currency FX app in the APAC region.

    Revolut will unleash its app, starting with New Zealand, Singapore and Japan. GPS announced the deal during the Lord Mayor of the City of London’s UK Business delegation, which is currently in Australia this week.

    Middle East

    Fintech Startup Beehive Is Closing The Gap For SME Finance In The GCC (Dubai Forum), Rated: AAA

    She found Beehive, a Dubai-based peer-to-peer lending platform. Through Beehive, Lowmass borrowed $54,000 in late 2016 at an interest rate of 9.89%. Although it took about the same amount of time to get a loan from Beehive as it did through the bank, Lowmass says, “the funds were raised cleanly and extremely quickly and we were delighted with the resultinginterest rate we ended up paying.”

    It has 6,000 registered investors—mostly from the U.A.E.—and has channeled a total of $40 million to borrowers.

    Africa

    Ecobank: African Fintech Predicted to Grow Exponentially by 2020 (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

    Africa is now at the forefront of fintech with 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts (100.1 million) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fintech in Africa is predicted to grow from US$ 200 million to US$ 3 billion by 2020. As Ecobank works seamlessly across 36 countries in total, Ecobank is also the only bank that allows customers to transact more easily across borders.

    Ecobank’s mobile app allows customers in any of the 33 African countries in which it operates to check balances, pay bills and merchants, and many other services. Rwanda, where the summit is taking place, has the second highest use of mobiles in Africa, with more than 50% of the population unique subscribers. Kenya has the highest penetration rate of almost 60% of the population.

    Canada

    Vested Ventures completes seed round in gamified savings app Dojo (Finextra), Rated: AAA

    Vested Ventures, the investment arm of the fastest growing public relations agency globally, Vested, announced it has successfully completed a seed round investment in Vancouver financial software company Dojo Technology Corp (“Dojo”).

    Dojo’s iOS and Android-friendly mobile platform reimagines how families and young people interact with their banks and credit unions by providing reward-based gamification and nudging users towards positive financial habits.

    Authors:

    George Popescu
    Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Lending Club stress test

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Lending Club stress test

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

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International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments Today’s main news: SoFi completes $769M student loan securitization. Affirm is headed to unicorn status. Funding Circle SME fund to double. Funding Circle SME Income Fund NAV, profit to rise. Zopa investors can move repayments into IFISA automatically. Harmoney says Kiwi SMEs are tapping into P2P for cash flow more. TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card in Africa. Today’s main […]

Monday December 11 2017, Daily News Digest

News Comments

United States

United Kingdom

China

European Union

International

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

MENA

Africa

News Summary

United States

SoFi Announces Completion of $ 769 Million Student Loan Securitization, Bringing Total ABS Issuance in 2017 to $ 6.9 billion (PR Newswire), Rated: AAA

SoFi announced today the closing of its $769 million offering of SoFi Private Student Loan notes (SoFi 2017-F).

The closing marked the company’s 12th ABS transaction this year, bringing its total issuance in 2017 to $6.9 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2016.  The 2017 total includes six Student Loan ReFi and six Consumer Loan transactions.

LendingClub’s Investor Day Highlights (PeerIQ), Rated: AAA

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) sent a letter to the Cleveland Fed accusing them of using their study on peer-to-peer lending to block bill “Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act” (H.R. 3299). The bill proposes to overturn a decision in the Madden v. Midland Funding case against the “valid when made” clause which allows sales of legally made loans in one state to parties in other states, even if the loan exceeds the interest rate cap in the state of the borrower.

Positioning and Strategy 

LendingClub doubled-down on the capital-light marketplace lending model, and emphasized the role of technology, data & analytics, and the “virtuous cycle of scale.”  LendingClub also emphasized the new product innovation on the investor side of its business – notably the Exchange Traded Product (ETP) which we think may have been lost in the immediate reaction to revised guidance.

LC sees an addressable market opportunity of $300-350 Bn in the credit card refinance and debt consolidation spaces, and a $38 Tr pool of addressable capital on the investor side of its marketplace.

LC has a two-pronged strategy to attack these markets and meet EBITDA margin goals:

  1. 2018: Focus and Invest
    1. Accelerate personal loans growth while prudently managing credit
    2. Invest in auto and leverage secured capabilities for personal loans
    3. Strengthen Investor franchise by expanding securitization and growing new structures
    4. Address legacy issues
  1. 2019-2020: Expand and Deepen
    1. Expand lead in personal loans through further data, analytics, and product and testing efforts
    2. Expand role in the borrower journey through new products and services
    3. Expand investor universe to lower cost of funds, improve resiliency, capture more value
Source: Lending Club

As seen in the chart below, LendingClub is positioning MPL loans as a new asset class that offers higher risk-adjusted returns as compared to other fixed incomealternatives, while offering lower interest rate risk. LC has delivered historical annualized loss-adjusted returns of 6.7% on its Prime loans portfolio, and 10.9% on its Near-Prime loans portfolio.

Source: LendingClub

The top question on investors’ minds remains the expected performance of MPL loans thru a recessionary scenario in the chart below, LendingClub published estimates of expected annualized charge-offs on Prime loans in a baseline scenario of 5.5%, in a moderate recession scenario of 7.9%, and in a protracted slump scenario of 11.5%.

Source: LendingClub

Why it is easier now for small businesses to go global (Born2Invest), Rated: AAA

It has become significantly easier today to run a multinational business compared to a few years ago. This is down to the increasing adaptation of technological advances to various business operations.

Markets are becoming decentralized and barriers to entry are minimal

The internet is central to the paradigm shift we have witnessed in the business environment over the last couple of decades. For instance, you do not have to live in the U.S. to sell your products or services to the Americans. Even where certain levels of certification are required, these can easily be done online thereby allowing a foreigner to obtain the required credentials for operating a business that targets American citizens. Therefore, market access is global, decentralized and without limits for anyone looking to expand exponentially.

Another thing that is influencing growth strategies among small businesses is the ease of access to financing.

Ideally, most businesses would opt for local lending. However, with the growing popularity of online-based peer-to-peer lending platforms like Lending Club, small businesses can now access financing regardless of whether they have security. But it is not as easy and straightforward as it sounds. According to National Business Capital, the process can be as tasking as trying to apply for a securitized loan with background checks and credit scores playing a crucial role.

Nonetheless, lending institutions are being pressured by the increasing number of peer-to-peer lending platforms. This has forced them to lighten up their lending requirements in a bid to increase their loan portfolios and subsequently interest incomes. In this case, we could say that technological advances and the emergence of alternative lending solutions have forced the hand of the credit market to create a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Max Levchin’s lending startup is heading for unicorn territory (Axios), Rated: AAA

Affirm, the personal credit startup led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has filed a stock authorization form in Delaware that would allow it to raise up to $210 million in new funding at around a $1.4 billion pre-money valuation.

How Max Levchin cofounded and built PayPal into a payments monster after 6 pivots and a bitter rivalry with Elon Musk (Business Insider), Rated: A

He now spends most of his time at Affirm, which offers small loans but doesn’t charge any penalties or fees.

 

PayPal founder talks digital payments, bitcoin (The Seattle Times), Rated: A

Q: Are digital payments progressing as quickly as you hoped since you started PayPal?

A: They are moving at a good pace, adjusted for just how large and complicated the market is. It’s highly regulated and there are a lot of things to be careful about. The elephant in the room for the last seven or eight years has been cryptocurrency.

Q: What are some of the most interesting areas of digital payments?

A: A good example is international remittances, where companies can pop up and do well. They’re the guys who figured out how to do it much cheaper and much more transparently with much lower friction to both the recipient and the sender.

Can I get my pay instantly? New payday apps give workers fast access to wages — for a price (Mic), Rated: AAA

And while many workers typically wait anywhere from once a week to once a month to get the money their company owes them, new apps from financial technology startups like DailyPay, FlexWage and PayActiv are giving workers everywhere — including at Goodwill, McDonald’s and Uber — faster access to wages, and sometimes even on the same day they clocked their hours.

Proponents like Shah say faster access to wages can motivate hourly workers to put in longer hours (since they’ll reap the rewards more quickly) and can reduce their reliance on abusive payday loans with sky-high interest rates that can leave borrowers in an unending debt cycle. Indeed, taking out a single $100 payday loan for two weeks could eat up more than $130 out of your next paycheck, once you factor in interest and fees. Repeat that every two weeks and you are down hundreds of dollars for the year — equivalent to a full month’s rent for many.

With DailyPay — which is used by hourly workers at DoorDash delivery service, the Maids residential cleaning service and Kellermeyer Bergensons Services facilities management firm — employees can access 100% of their accrued and unpaid net wages for a fee of $1 to $3 per transaction. The money can be deposited directly into their bank account or put on a prepaid card or payroll card on the same day.

Another app called Earnin lets workers withdraw up to $100 a day and $500 per pay period in advance of receiving their regular paycheck. While it charges no fees, it does give workers the option of “tipping.” The service then withdraws funds directly from your checking account after you’ve been paid.

FlexWage, for example, only lets workers tap up to 70% of their unpaid wages between regular paychecks (for a $3 to $5 fee per transaction). PayActiv gives them access to 50% of their net pay for every 30 hours worked for a $5 fee.

Instant Financial lets employees withdraw half their daily net pay every day at no cost at all: Instead they charge employers $1 per month per employee enrolled in the program.

Source: Mic

There’s an attractive way to profit from the $ 1.3 trillion student-loan bubble (Business Insider), Rated: A

According to Goldman Sachs, the outstanding student loan balance has reached $1.3 trillion in face value, about the size of the high-yield corporate-bond market. This outstanding debt is not without problems, as it delays homeownership for some millennials and cuts their disposable income.

It’s the $190 billion of outstanding loans that are held within asset-backed securities (ABS) refinanced by private lenders such as SoFi.

“Recent marketplace student loan deals have featured borrower pools with average credit scores above 770 and average borrower incomes above $160k: a very different credit profile than the government guaranteed portfolios.”

Source: Business Insider

Some lenders stand to gain as others leave auto niche (American Banker), Rated: A

The indirect auto business is in a state of transition.

TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., surprisingly walked away from the segment on Dec. 1, and others like Regions Financial and Fifth Third Bancorp have tapped the brakes for reasons ranging from competition and credit concerns to regulatory pressure and low yields.

Auto sales are also projected to fall by 7% this year, according to Autodata and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Financial Literacy Curricula for Non-Prime Consumers Should Focus on Relevant Topics, Attainable Goals (BusinessWire), Rated: A

America’s financial literacy programs may be failing the very people who need them most, according to newly released research from Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class (CNMC). Non-prime consumers learn and retain financial education material differently than their prime peers, the research indicated.

To be most effective for a non-prime audience, financial literacy curricula should:

Be trans-media. Use different media types to deliver different messages.

Address the unique challenges of non-prime Americans. A financial wellness program will be more effective for non-prime Americans if it directly addresses their unique challenges – things like income volatility and a lack of available resources. It also needs to identify outcomes that are relevant, attainable, and meaningful to them.

Highlight the next immediate steps.

Focus on building their credit. Non-prime Americans understand that their credit scores affect every part of their financial lives and they are hyper-focused on what they can do to improve them. Anchoring a financial wellness program on credit score management can actually lead non-prime consumers to understand broader financial management principles.

Ken Rees of Elevate (Lend Academy), Rated: A

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The evolution of Ken’s career that led to the founding of Elevate.
  • The different products that Elevate offers today.
  • A profile of the typical Elevate customer.
  • How Elevate’s products help their customers’ financial situation.
  • Their typical loan terms.
  • Ken’s view of the new CFPB rules on small dollar loans.
  • How Elevate’s underwriting process works.
  • The total originations for Elevate in the US and UK.
  • The importance of data analytics in their business.
  • The percentage of customers coming to them through a mobile device.
  • How they can underwrite 95% of their loan applications in an automated way.
  • How their charge-off rates have been trending.
  • The different funding sources they use to fund these loans.
  • What their Center for the New Middle Class does.
  • How their IPO process went and what it is like being a public company.

 

Winners and Losers in the CFPB Mess (Credit Union Times), Rated: A

Winners

Payday Lenders – Like them or not, the payday lending industry was in for a huge takedown under the CFPB’s final rules that will restrict the way they do business.

Still, the industry now has a friend rather than a foe in the director’s office. And that can’t hurt for an industry that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for a major takedown.

Attorneys general call for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau independence (Lake County News), Rated: B

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined attorneys general from 17 other states in calling on the Trump Administration to respect the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PNC to offer consumer loans through mobile devices (American Banker), Rated: A

PNC Financial Services Group plans to introduce a consumer lending product that it will market through both its mobile wallet and in new branches.

The $375 billion-asset Pittsburgh company intends for the new loan product to be available on a national scale, Chairman and CEO William Demchak said this week.

Kaplan Fox Announces Investigation of Qudian Inc. (Business Insider), Rated: A

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP (www.kaplanfox.com) is investigating Qudian Inc. (“Qudian” or the “Company”) (NYSE:QD) on behalf of investors who purchased Qudian American Depository Shares.

On October 17, 2017, Qudian issued 37.5 million American Depository Shares at $24 per share under a Registration Statement and Prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for gross proceeds of $900 million.

On November 21, 2017, Chinese media sources began to reveal that the personal information of millions of Qudian customers were allegedly available for sale on the black market. On November 23, 2017Bloomberg reported that “Chinese regulators and police are investigating a potential leak of data from online lender Qudian Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meet Tim Russi, President of Auto Finance at Ally Financial (Vator.TV), Rated: A

VatorNews: How is technology influencing and impacting Ally’s auto business? Why is this technology integral to the company’s future in this arena?

Tim Russi: We’re a company that’s 100 years old, and you don’t become a 100 year old company in today’s world if you don’t have the ability to reinvent yourself.

Ally operates in what we in the lending world refer to as an ‘indirect model,’ so dealers originate the loans and leases and then we purchase them from the dealers. The speed and access of the indirect model has changed significantly in the last 15 years. The industry was very disruptive in creating online portals for dealers to be able to submit applications to lenders, so the lender didn’t have to be on site to do the loans.

VN: How have you seen technology in the auto space evolve in that short amount of time? How quickly is the space changing?

TR: You look at a lot of the lending models today and they’re going direct to consumers, and we’ve even got a direct model, because as you look at digital and the consumers doing shopping online, and wanting to buy, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to select and purchase the vehicle and obtain financing right at the ‘point of sale.’ If the sale’s going to be online, not in the dealership, we want to make sure we’re there and then fulfillment can occur at the dealership.

VN: How has SmartAuction changed the way dealers sell and buy vehicles? What kind of ROI have you seen?

TR: SmartAuction, we actually developed in 1999 and we’ve done over 5 million transactions. We have 20,000 vehicles that are available for sale or purchase in the marketplace. It’s a wholesale marketplace so dealers can post and buy.

Notable Real Estate Trends To Watch For In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

3. Fractional Investing

As peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding catch mainstream attention, folks looking for greater diversification and passive investment opportunities will engage in factional investing. The last few years have seen some extremely credible startups innovate in this space, and next year could lead to individuals moving away from sole ownership to fractional ownership via crowdfunding. – Sohin ShahInstaLend

7. On-Demand Access For Renters

We often hear from renters that they are too busy to sweat the small stuff. They want immediate tour confirmations, like booking a restaurant on OpenTable, and near-immediate confirmation that they have leased, like booking a hotel. This real-time service expectation from a new generation of renters is exactly what we plan to cater to in 2018. – Anthemos GeorgiadesZumper

Peer-To-Peer Lending : Here Are 5 Things To Know (NDTV), Rated: B

  1. P2P lending is a form of financial innovation but the concept that works behind it is the same as in the case of the banking system.
  2. Any lay investor or lender can lend money to any borrower who is registered with the P2P platform.
  3. Borrowers and lenders enter into a contract according to which they agree to the amount disbursed and the rate of interest.
  4. A borrower can raise loan at the rate of interest, which is inversely proportional to his credit score.
  5. Each P2P lending platform charges a fee for the transactions that are fructified at their platforms.

Trump says fines for Wells Fargo will not be dropped (Des Moines Register), Rated: B

President Donald Trump weighed in on an investigation into scandal-plagued Wells Fargo, tweeting Friday that fines and penalties against the bank would not be dropped, and may actually be “substantially increased.”

Trump’s statement comes a day after Reuters reported that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director and now acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was weighing whether the bank should have to pay tens of millions in fines already levied against it for mortgage lending abuses.

United Kingdom

Funding Circle SME fund size to double following C share merger (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

THE FUNDING Circle SME Income Fund (FCIF) is set to double the value of its assets after announcing plans to convert its conversion shares into the ordinary portfolio on 20 December.

The investment trust, which invests in loans on the Funding Circle platform, revealed in its half-year report that the move will increase the fund’s size to around £310m.

Currently the ordinary shares are worth £165.3m and the C shares, launched in April, are worth £142.3m.

Funding Circle SME Income Fund Net Asset Value And Profit Both Rise (Morningstar), Rated: AAA

Net asset value per ordinary share was 100.55 pence per share, representing an increase in the total NAV to GBP167.0 million from GBP165.0 million at the start of the half, which ended September 30. Net asset value total return was 12%.

For the C shares, net asset value was 99.82p, having only been issued in April. These shares are due to convert to ordinary shares on December 20.

Zopa investors can now automatically move repayments into their IFISA (P2P Finance News), Rated: AAA

ZOPA investors can now automatically re-direct their repayments into their Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).

The peer-to-peer consumer lender confirmed this week that customers can gradually move their Zopa money into the tax wrapper without having to sell loans or pay extra fees.

Moving money into the IFISA will contribute to the investor’s annual tax-free allowance, Zopa said. However, once money is in the IFISA and has been lent out, those repayments will not contribute to the IFISA allowance.

Why banks will share your financial secrets (BBC), Rated: AAA

Customers of nine of the biggest UK banks have received letters and emails in recent weeks informing them that their information can be shared, securely, with other firms. All they need to do is give their permission.

The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

Most people stay loyal to their bank. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year.The UK’s competition watchdog says this so-called Open Banking regime will revolutionise many people’s financial lives, helping them get better deals.

How will it work?

In practice and in time, customers will probably see a dashboard on their bank’s mobile phone app.

This will show them how much money they have in their different accounts, with different banks, and eventually how much they owe on credit cards and store cards too.

A set of computer programming rules in the UK, called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), will ensure all these new services and banks to talk to each other.

Applications for mortgages could be dealt with more quickly, as providers and brokers could access spending history, rather than ask for printed copies of the last three months of bank statements.

Anne Boden, of mobile-only Starling Bank, says customers will be able to see exactly what they bought for lunch each day, an app could analyse the calorie levels, and then cross-check it with how much exercise that person is doing.

Customers could be bombarded with invitations to try out a new service, and could quickly lose control of their financial data, according to Mick McAteer, of the UK’s Financial Inclusion Centre.

He describes Open Banking as “a daft idea”, which will lead to more financial exclusion for those already on low incomes.

Unscrupulous individuals would be keen to access this data and use it alongside information revealed on social media to build up a complete set of personal information.

The UK needs its own version of business development companies (Financial Times), Rated: A

The great scramble for yield has seen asset managers hunt down ever more alternative sources of income. Many are starting to move into the world of shadow banking, alternative forms of lending in areas where banks are not competing for business as much as they used to.

But evidence from the US suggests that the biggest opportunity probably lies in what is called direct lending, preferably through a structure that might mimic US business development companies. These BDCs are a large and diverse universe of tax efficient, listed, closed-end funds resident in the US. Collectively they are worth at least $100bn, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the investment bank, nearly all of which has been lent to mid-market private businesses in the US — capital that has arguably helped to improve the nation’s corporate productivity and profitability. Income-hungry investors have also snapped up these funds, with average yields well over 9 per cent per year.

Direct lending companies will service the mid-market secured lending space for loans above £50m but they, in turn, lack an outlet into the public markets typically afforded by BDCs in the US.

Industry reacts to Cambridge report on alternative finance (AltFi), Rated: A

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s report, entitled Entrenching Innovation, found the UK online alternative finance market grew 43 per cent in 2016 to £4.6bn.

“Abundance was particularly pleased to see our category (debt securities) confirmed as the fastest growing of all at 1,147 per cent year on year, with an accompanying 40 per cent increase in average deal size to £1.4m. It was also good to see hard evidence of investors in debt securities conducting their own due diligence and being comfortable with the risk/reward offers they found,” he said.

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of fintech business finance firm MarketInvoice, says as awareness increases, which will be propelled by PSD2, so too will the use of alternative finance platforms.

The UK ranks top of all major developed economies for establishing new businesses (City A.M.), Rated: A

The UK outranked all other major developed economies in terms of the number of businesses established last year, according to figures from accounting group UHY Hacker Young.

It became home to 218,000 more businesses in 2016, a rise of six per cent over year-on-year. Meanwhile, other major developed economies including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US saw an average two per cent rise in number of businesses over the year.

FCA to change advice definition in January (FT Adviser), Rated: B

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will introduce its new definition of advice from Wednesday 3 January.

As part of this it has amended its handbook to change the definition of financial advice, meaning only advice which offers a personal recommendation will be considered regulated.

China

Chinese Banks Face Potential Capital Shortfall, IMF Says (WSJ), Rated: AAA

Chinese banks may have insufficient capital to weather potential losses from the nation’s rapidly mounting credit risks, the International Monetary Fund said, in a broad review of China’s financial system.

With Chinese banking-sector assets, at $34.7 trillion, soaring to three times the size of China’s economic output, at $11.2 trillion, the IMF said that “holding more capital would strengthen the banking system and bolster financial stability,” according to a report on Thursday.

The IMF said China should consider boosting risk-weighted assets at its banks by 0.5% to 1% over the coming 12 months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

WeiyangX Fintech Review (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: A

LexinFintech, China’s online provider of installment-based loans has decided to conduct extra due-diligence investigation for its IPO in the US.

This week, KPMG China announced the 50 leading Fintech companies operating in China and published a related insight report.

(Note: Companies are arranged in alphabetical order based on the first letter of their Chinese name in pinyin.)

  1. Anxindeli
  2. Baidu Finance
  3. BAIFENDIAN
  4. 100credit
  5. ICE KREDIT
  6. TENPAY.COM
  7. Dianrong.com
  8. RQuest
  9. FUTUNN.COM
  10. ChinaPnR
  11. PING ++
  12. 3GOLDEN
  13. JFZ.COM
  14. JD Finance
  15. Juxinli
  16. QUARK FINANCE
  17. 99Bill
  18. Tigerbrokers
  19. QuantGroup
  20. LENGJING INFO
  21. LU.com
  22. Ideacome
  23. MSXF
  24. Ant Financial
  25. PINTEC
  26. QFPAY
  27. Qudian
  28. UCREDIT
  29. Rong360
  30. Wecash
  31. ChinaScope
  32. BBD
  33. Souyidai
  34. Suanhua Credit
  35. Feidee
  36. Taiyiyun
  37. TalkingData
  38. Tcredit
  39. Beagle Data
  40. Tong Dun
  41. Wacai
  42. Wei Zhong Shui Yin
  43. WeBank
  44. WeLab
  45. u51.com
  46. Onchain
  47. Hcspark.com
  48. Zipeiyi
  49. Zhongan Insurance
  50. Zuihuibao

New guidelines for banks to support P2P lending (Taipei Times), Rated: A

The Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday gave its nod to guidelines on collaborations between peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms and commercial banks, in a move to support the development of emerging financial services.

Under the guidelines, banks may provide custodian and trust account services to P2P platforms, as well as transaction processing to meet rules against collection of deposits by non-bank entities, the commission said.

However, banks are barred from making recommendations on decisions about loan approval, interest rates and principal amounts.

The guidelines also regulate the so-called peer-to-bank (P2B) model, where banks participate as lenders on P2P platforms.

CreditEase’s CEO Ning Tang spoke about FinTech and innovation at Fortune Global Forum (Business Insider), Rate: A

Ning Tang, Founder and CEO of CreditEase, attended the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on December 6-8 in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Openness & Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy,” the Global Forum convened world leaders, senior executives and prestigious scholars to discuss the dynamic frontiers of international commerce.

Tang stated that the Chinese FinTech industry still sees great potential in the coming decade represented by development in applications such as microloans for SMEs, crowdfunding, robo-advisory, insurance technology, and blockchain products and services.

India’s FDI climate good for China investment (China Business Law Journal), Rated: A

Mumbai-based fintech start-up Kissht recently raised US$10 million in funding primarily from Fosun International, a Chinese investment consortium. The Krishnamurthy & Co team acted for and represented Kissht and its owner OnEMI Technology Solutions, led by Mumbai-based partner Sanket Sethia and associate Vwastav Ghosh.

European Union

Moody’s highlights improving performance for European SME ABS next year (FTSE Global Markets), Rated: AAA

The performance of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) asset-backed securities (ABS) will remain stable across all major markets in Europe and issuance volumes will likely increase slightly, according to the 2018 outlook for European SME ABS from Moody’s. However, emerging political risks have created some uncertainty in affected markets, with a limited effect on securitised deals in the United Kingdom (UK), and potentially negative effects in Spain.

Billie Raises €10m Series A (LendIt), Rated: A

Billie is an invoice finance platform that launched earlier this year; the round was led by Creandum with participation from existing investors Speedinvest and Global Founders Capital; the company focuses on complete automation with no human interaction; It was co-founded by Matthias Knecht and Christian Grobe; Billie also secured a refinancing facility from a major German bank.

International

Regulated Crypto Platform Plays By the Rules and Disrupts Trading Model (Coin Telegraph), Rated: A

Trade.io’s solution is to develop an exchange platform for the sharing economy where traders can not only exchange tokens, crypto and fiat currencies and other assets but also share in the risk and revenue of the liquidity pool. To participate in the liquidity pool, members buy 2,500 Trade Tokens secured by financial assets in their trade.io wallets. Crypto and fiat currencies are accepted as collateral.

Trade Token owners share in 50 percent of the gains or losses of the liquidity pool, which are distributed to the wallets of pool participants. Besides trading fees and commissions, revenue is earned from investment banking and P2P lending fees.

Australia/New Zealand

Harmoney Reports Increase in Kiwi SMEs That Are Tapping into P2P Lending for Business Cashflow (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Earlier this week, Harmoney announced there has been an increase in Kiwi SMEs that are tapping into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for business cashflow.

The New Zealand online lender stated it estimates $100 million will be loaned to business accounts through its lending platform within the next six to twelve months. Currently, the average loan amount for business cashflow on its platform is $25,000.

Sydney fintech Avoka raises $ 16m in Roger Allen-led round (Financial Review), Rated: A

Avoka Technologies, a fast-growing Sydney-based provider of customer acquisition services to financial institutions, has raised $16 million from investors, including prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, as offshore revenue rises above 75 per cent and the headcount moves towards 300.

Avoka offers a software-as-a-service platform called Transact, which claims to enable institutions to launch new digital products in weeks rather than months, and monitors customer interaction with them once established.

BankWest’s mobile banking app was built on Avoka, while Mr Copeland said HSBC was about to launch new credit cards whose customer interface was developed through the platform.

Asia

Crowdcredit, Inc from Japan (Makoto UJIKE Email), Rated: AAA

Crowdcredit is a cross border online lending platform, which raises funds from Japanese investors and finances overseas financial institutions, SMEs, or individuals.

Crowdcredit, Inc. announced its completion of appx. USD3.5mn financing mainly from Femto Partners, one of the most influential venture capitals in Japan.

Crowdcredit track record;

  • – Established in January 2013
  • – Started raising funds since June 2014,
  • – Finances financial institutions, SMEs, or consumers in Peru, Cameroon, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, etc.,
  • – Has registered investment user of 8,000+
  • – Has issued funds in total US$ 45.5mm, and
  • – Issues funds of US$ 4mm monthly with increasing trend.
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit
Source: Crowdcredit

Learn more about Crowdcredit here.

Crowd-lending platform New Union awarded CMS license (The Edge Markets), Rated: A

Crowd-lending platform New Union has been awarded the full Capital Markets Service license (CMS) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and announced a potential deal flow pipeline of about S$2 million to be launched soon.

P2P lending platform Validus Capital gets licence to deal in securities in Singapore (Business Times), Rated: A

VALIDUS Capital announced on Monday that it has been awarded a full Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to deal in securities – a move that may give Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more access to financing opportunities.

Singapore banks can save over 10% from fintech (SBR.com.sg), Rated: A

Moreover, about 41% of banked balance has now abandoned traditional channels.

MAS estimates fintech payments already takes up 20-50% of household consumption if the probability of payments disintermediation is high in the next five years.

A majority of 56% of the banked population is also willing to shift their savings into a pure play digital bank. An average of 41% of total balance has already been shifted.

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (The Star), Rated: B

Equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for early-stage and early-growth companies to tap investors attracted by the potential for high returns. An investor who has spent the last couple of years lamenting over the lacklustre performance of his stocks sees ECF as an investment channel that claims to offer even better returns.

P2P investing is garnering a lot of interest from would-be investors who are looking for something different and better than banks’ fixed deposits.

ECF means investing in very early stage businesses and as such, there are inherent risks to be aware of such as the likelihood of bankruptcy, in which case, you will not be able to recover your original investment.

With P2P investing, the most obvious risk that comes attached is of course the possibility of the borrower defaulting on the debt. As the reasons for not being able to repay the loan are typically financial, any subsequent attempts to recover your investment may prove futile if the business indeed has gone under.

Key tips to investing

1. Know where ECF and P2P stands in your strategic asset allocation.

2. Ensure you are investing in best of breed by comparing apple to apple when it comes to risk versus returns.

a) Ensure the platform is approved by SC.

b) Research each scheme on the platform as not every one is the same.

c) Read the fine print in the platform operator’s agreement and know the rights and liabilities of each party. Pay particular attention to the risk warnings in the agreement with regards to potential loss of invested capital and the unsecured nature of the investment (for P2P).

3. Diversification is key.

4. Monitor how your investments are performing.

5. Consider the time required before you see your investments come to fruition.

MENA

New Amendment To Address Reward-Based Crowdfunding And What To Expect (Mondaq), Rated: AAA

A new omnibus code that amends, amongst others, the Capital Markets Code (“CMC“) has been enacted by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2017.

The CMC amendment primarily refers to reward-based crowdfunding (i.e. receipt of goods, reward or pre-sales in return or investment-based or loan-based crowdfunding) while donation-based crowdfunding where the investor donates the money with no return is still subject to aid and donations legislation. The said amendment limits crowdfunding to project or venture financing and only through crowdfunding platforms that are prior-recognised by the Capital Markets Board (“Board“).

Crowdfunding platforms can only operate in Turkey once they obtain the necessary permission from the Board.

Fintech Is The New Oil In The Middle East And North Africa (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Over the past decade, fintech startups in the region have raised over $100 million in funding, and investment is predicted to double by 2020, according to the State of Fintech report. Disclosed investment infintech had jumped 100% to over $35 million by October 2017 — Paytabs ($20million), Souqalmal ($10 million) and Beehive ($5 million) — compared to $18 million last year. The number of fintech startups also increased from 46 in 2013 to 105 in 2015. It is estimated that it will more than double again to 250 by 2020, according to the report.

Aside from the fact that the sector encompasses every tech startup active within the financial services industry, beyond the ones that specialize in online payments or money transfers, e-commerce in the region is set to quadrupleuntil the end of this decade. Additionally, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and internet connectivity, 86% of the adult population in the region is unbanked, while three in four GCC bank customers are ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.

Boosting financial inclusion is crucial for economic diversity and growth across the region. Moussa Beidas, co-founder of Dubai-based startup Bridg, which allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, says fintech has become an innovative way to bridge the divide and provide cheaper services to the unbanked.

Significant banking changes due to tech innovation (Gulf News), Rated: A

The rapid advancement in innovation is transforming the financial services industry, especially the banks, as technology has become an integral part of the business strategy — from initially being just an enabler to now actually streamlining operating processes.

The Middle East has amassed more than $100 million (Dh367 million) in FinTech start-up funding in the past ten years, with 105 FinTech start-ups launching in 2016, with hopes to raise $50 million in funding by the end of 2017.

Banks in the UAE remain the trendsetters, although other GCC countries are not lagging far behind, with several banks in the region embracing FinTech in many different ways.

Africa

TransUnion launches Mobile Score Card solution (IT Web Africa), Rated: AAA

Data firm TransUnion has launched Mobile Score Card, a mobile loan information service that enables lending firms to access a loan applicant’s credit status.

Mobile Score Card is a database solution that continually ‘learns’ based on mobile transactional history.

It also provides mobile lenders with customisable and reliable risk view of the mobile loans. The product targets banks with mobile lending solutions, savings and credit cooperative organisation and independent mobile lenders.

Authors:

George Popescu
Allen Taylor